How India will emerge strong fighting a ‘Silent Enemy’?
The massive nationwide lockdown of India took the world by surprise. It was done silently, without any (or virtually) very little mudslinging matches on display in the social media or on news channels. India has, for the first time, been forced into working in solidarity with one man who knows how to take the nation forward- PM Narendra Modi.
The communal propaganda died a natural death. Social media access was put under control; the noise against which has also died down. The whole focus of leadership has been to keep looking ahead, without being swayed by the irritants. India is full of them- upheavals, religious debates, wage wars and disharmony. As a nation, we have been quite busy (most of the times) in creating debates and wiling away time over discussions. The desire to create value hasn’t been our top priority. It’s a nation of divided points of view, a massive population which has never found a true cause to come together. But this time, not just the pandemic, by a man at the helm has united the nation.
While the virus has hit the world like a boulder, India has not lost course in the choppy waters. A world lockdown has systematically disrupted economies, shut down businesses, pushed economically powerful and infrastructural strong nations to the brink of breakdown. The pandemic tested everyone’s limits.
Since November 2019, leadership of all nations across the globe has been put to test. Very few have had the resilience to extend a helping hand. India, UAE and Saudi Arabia to some extend have been a few to do so. But India has stood out far more resilient and successful in handling the disaster than any of the western powers put together.
The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi calmly addressed the nation yesterday. There are silent discussions on social media but the nation seems to be in tandem with his thought and direction of the Lockdown 4.0. Indeed, he had thought it out clearly and phased the lockdown. India is now going to enter the fourth phase of a lockdown. Possibly, the phased lockdown and partial opening up, has helped control the widespread contraction of the virus.
India is a unique country, with huge below the poverty line, migrant and daily wage working population. Literacy rate according to a 2011 consensus is estimated at 74.04%. An old analytical 1990 study has estimated that it would take until 2060 for India to achieve universal literacy at then-current rate of progress. To get a massive population like this, to move towards progress is definitely no joke.
India went into lockdown on March 25. This is the fourth lockdown extension which has been said to be ‘a completely different lockdown’. Addressing the nation, PM Modi said that Lockdown 4.0 will contain new rules based on the suggestions from the states that will be declared before 18 May to the whole nation. He has brought on the fact that we must accept the virus as a part of our lives, but not to an extent that our lives revolve around the virus.
The fourth phase of the lockdown starts from May 18. Bringing in the thought of resilience, and adaptability, a thought that Modi has been communicating through his twitter messages to the public, he is showing a new phase of leadership and growth to India, something the world’s second largest democracy has never seen.
He has driven home the thought of ‘Atmanirbhar India’- a self reliant India that will learn to rise from this setback that has rocked everyone’s boat. To mitigate the economic blow, Modi will be rolling out a mega economic relief package worth ₹20 lakh crore for laborers, farmers, honest tax-paying middle class, as well as Indian industry including the cottage industry, MSMEs.
How the package is financed, the sourcing of the funding the package and reaction of the market as well as rating agencies will be keenly watched.
But Modi has got the roadmap chalked out in his mind. A country in peril can swim through such rough seas, if the leader at the helm has the welfare of the people at the heart of decision making, clear vision and fearless ability of risk taking. India is exhibiting all this in Modi’s leadership; maybe is safe hands and see progress in the sense of more job opportunities, no bloodshed and a silent fight against a deadly enemy that we cannot see.